Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Do we script our own nightmares?
I rarely have nightmares, but I had one last night. Where do they come from? This one made me yelp loudly enough to wake myself up at about 4:00 a.m. And it was perfectly designed to make me yelp, in the sense that as the object of fear approached, it did so slowly and deliberately, cloaking itself until the final moment when it leapt out at me and nipped me on the face. Alfred Hitchcock would have admired the editing (for it was edited, at times it backed up to slightly alter the route and manner of its approach to make it scarier).
The action can be briefly and incompletely described. You know how dreams are. There was a man and he was looking for something that had frightened me, perhaps in a hole in the ground? The man was not my friend. He was not trying to help me or make me feel more secure. When he found the creature I was afraid of, he extended his arm towards me. The creature was hidden in the folds of his sleeve, and as it approached I strained to see what it was. The thought of running away, or the possibility of avoidance didn't occur to me.
When the man's sleeve got very close to me, a jet black creature, some kind of lizard or amphibian emerged suddenly and nipped me on the cheek.
But who designed this little nightmare?